Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year devotion: Serving God - Ephesians 6:7-8

Ephesians 6:7-8          Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

We all have good intentions at the start of the New Year. We think about what we would like to do and accomplish, and maybe even dream about making fresh starts and fulfilling our long-term goals. It’s a great time of year to think about the future rather than dwell on the past. As we cross over this new threshold, we all hope for something good and significant to happen in our lives. It could be the birth of a whole bundle of blessings; it could be the start of something special.

            As a pastor, I like to use this time to seriously contemplate what God wants me to do with this year. I think about the path that the congregation is taking and try to work out how I can enable and encourage the good folks to find new ways and opportunities of supporting the church and serving Christ in our community. Each year is different from the past and God usually adds new folks, new missions, and new ideas to the whole process. It’s a large part of my ministry to see that God’s chosen people are placed in positions to be effective servants of Christ. If I can manage to do that well, then God’s work will be glorified and the congregation’s ministry will flourish.

Question for personal reflection

Do I feel called to a special ministry and mission in my congregation and community? Am I willing to talk to my pastor about it?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we are all blessed to be Your servants. We each have unique backgrounds and gifts that are useful to Your continuing ministry. Help us all to pray about where You want us to serve You in our churches and communities. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask a question or make a comment about today’s message, please contact him by email at

Today’s image is one of John’s latest winter drawings. It’s called “Winter Cardinal,” and it features a beautiful red cardinal perched on a winter branch during snowfall. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link:

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